Sydney Trains: Commuters stunned by man’s act on board

A university graduate has been praised for taking his job search to the next level by holding a sign promoting his skills on a busy train, as a shortage of vacancies impacts thousands of jobseekers.

Photos of Bill Chu and his sign went viral after he walked through every carriage on a train from North Strathfield to Wynyard in Sydney last week. 

He told Daily Mail Australia he decided to take matters into his own hands while he was applying for jobs in the ‘traditional way’ online. 

‘While I was holding the sign, people were taking photos and they gave me the thumbs up and a smile, they were really supportive,’ he said.

‘They said I was really brave for standing up and saying I need a job’. 

Mr Chu said he received ’20 to 30 calls’ from people in Sydney, Perth and Queensland just hours after debuting his sign on the train. 

While several people offered to refer Mr Chu for a job opportunity at their company, he is yet to receive a formal offer.

He has skills in the Python and SQL programming languages as well as Tableau and Excel software. He’s hoping to score a junior role as a data analyst or data scientist.

Photos of Bill Chu with his sign (pictured) went viral after he walked through every carriage on a Sydney train from North Strathfield to Wynyard last week

Mr Chu has been looking to secure his first full-time job for the last five months and has submitted a number of applications online. 

The graduate, who has a Masters in Information Technology from the University of Sydney, said there were ‘limited positions’ in his industry.  

But he hopes that by showing initiative he will stand out from the other candidates.

Mr Chu is currently working as a mobile field officer at the University of Sydney and takes stock refill shifts at a Woolworths supermarket during the evenings. 

‘I was working at the university and realised it was not enough to pay everything. Everything is expensive in Sydney,’ he said. 

When he’s not at work, Mr Chu said he spends his time improving his skills and submitting job applications online. 

Cracks are starting to appear in the labour market, which for a long time has proved surprisingly resilient to an economy battered by higher interest rates and still-elevated inflation.

ANZ economist Madeline Dunk said job ads were following a similar pattern as other labour market indicators, which were all easing from strong starting positions.

Much of the adjustment in the labour market so far had played out in the number of hours worked, with employers choosing to prune back hours as work dries up.

‘But with average hours worked per person back in line with the long-run trend, we think the pace of employment growth will slow from here,’ she said.

Despite the 2.2 per cent fall in job ads in June, the figure was still sitting 17.8 per cent above pre-pandemic levels.

Yet average job ad numbers are now a long way from their June 2022 peak, down 25.8 per cent.

The Reserve Bank of Australia expects the labour market to soften as its interest rate hikes work to slow the economy and bring inflation back within its two-three per cent target range.